Balshaw Lane Primary School
“Teachers and governors are highly committed to the principle of inclusion"
“Children are the absolute focus in everything. The school is continuing to improve diversity and sustainability in all aspects.”
“Positive and inclusive culture.”
Parental questionnaire, Autumn 2022.
Our school leader for equality matters is Ms Gregson.
Our school governor for equality matters is Mr Fielding.
We also have an Equality Team in school who act as a sounding board for equality matters, for example when introducing or amending policies or procedures.
The team are: Mr Ripley, Mrs Boyden, Mrs Singleton, Mrs Hamilton, Mr Browne and Miss Baxendale. Photo of the team below.
Our Equality and Diversity work in 2022-23 includes:
At Balshaw Lane, we take our equality and diversity responsibilities seriously and are focused on embedding both across the curriculum, alongside protecting children from discrimination and harrassment.
Our Equality Policy includes objectives for 2022-26.
The governors and leadership team use this webpage to publish information in line with the Equality Act 2010 and Public Sector Equality Duty. We fulfil the three priorities of the Duty:
At Balshaw Lane, we ensure that our children grow up to be respectful citizens in modern, multi-cultural Britain. We recognise that our school population is mainly White British and ensure that our children develop the British value of tolerance of different faiths and beliefs to their own.
We teach the children explicitly through the PSHE curriculum about avoiding prejudice and stereotyping. We plan the books and stories we use across school so that they reflect diverse Britain. For example, in partnership with Ebb and Flo bookshop, over Summer 2022, we invested in diverse books for our class libraries, funded by the PTFA.
The images that we use around school and across the curriculum reflect modern British society.
We have previously gained the Lancashire Racial Equality Mark and are currently working to renew this module as part of the Equality Mark in 2022-23. Our staff received race equality training from Diversity Role Models and several of our classes participated in their workshops during 2021-22.
At our school, we have 9% of our children from different heritages including White and Black Caribbean; White and Black African; White and Asian; Mixed background; Asian or Asian British; Black British; Chinese and other White backgrounds.
We have supported the Lancashire Syrian refugee placement scheme, with several children now thriving at our school.
We use our own internal tracking to monitor the progress of children from different ethnic backgrounds. At the end of the 2021-22, the attainment of children from ethnic backgrounds was higher than that of other children.
Reading: 84% at Age-Related Expectations (ARE)
Writing: 74% at ARE
Maths: 84% at ARE
During 2022-23, our school is participating in the Lancashire 'All Together Now' project which links schools from different catchment areas together to encourage understanding, respect and tolerance.
We have 3% of pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL). First languages include Arabic, Polish, Russian and Chinese. The school has employed an Arabic-speaking TA and buys into the Lancashire EAL service for support.
We use our own internal tracking to monitor the progress of children with English as an Additional Language (EAL).
Reading: 67% at Age-Related Expectations (ARE)
Writing: 58% at ARE
Maths: 67% at ARE
Most of our pupils identify religiously as being Christian C of E. We also have children from Muslim, Hindu, Jehovah's Witness and Mormon families. We are always keen to give the children opportunities to share about their faith in class and in assembly. Children have given presentations about their religion and their family's worship. Through assemblies and class work, we mark festivals from different faiths, for example, Eid and Diwali. The children in Reception learn about Chinese New Year.
We often have visitors in to share their faith and beliefs with the children, for example, Prags Birk who has led Diwali sessions and shared Hindu dance and food with us. Imran Kotwal has shared his Islamic beliefs and practice in classes. A member of the Jewish community has led workshops for the children and local Christian clergy have led assemblies and class sessions.
We have had visits to local churches and the Jewish museum in Manchester. We aim to have more visits to places of worship now that we are post-pandemic.
“Appears to be a well-rounded curriculum. Pleased to see topics such as Black History Month being included too.”
Parental questionnaire comment
At the January 2022 census, 54% of pupils were boys, 46% girls.
There are variances between cohorts as to whether girls or boys attain higher in Reading, Writing or Maths.
For instance, in the current Year 5 (2022-23), the boys attain higher than the girls across all three subjects.
In other year groups, it varies between subjects. For example, the current Y2 and Y3 girls attained higher in maths by the end of Summer 2022 whilst, in Years 4-6, boys were higher.
In the past, we have focused on improving girls' maths as the gap was bigger in that subject. Due to the introduction of our maths mastery scheme, there is no longer a pattern of boys achieving consistently higher than girls in maths.
We are currently focusing on boys' early writing skills due to lower Reception attainment at the end of Summer 2022.
We have worked sensitively and discreetly with families when pupils have questioned their gender. We have supported children with uniform choices and helped them to express themselves. We have supported pupils in their transition to high school so that they can make a confident start.
We work closely with the families of children with SEN and/or a disability. We prioritise support, with several children having 1:1 support without EHC funding. We aim to identify needs from an early age to have maximum impact.
We buy into the Lancashire Inclusion Service but, increasingly, other specialists such as Ellen Howard, dyslexia specialist; Speech Mum for speech and language assessments; private educational psychologists.
We have also bought in support for deaf parents at meetings and on phone calls.
"I don't speak to your Year 6 teacher very often because you identify needs so early on and that's how it should be."
Amira Helme, specialist SEN teacher
Some children may start to question their sexual orientation whilst at primary school. We have encouraged children to be confident in themselves and supported them in their transition to high school.
The DfE-funded charity, Diversity Role Models, led workshops for several of our classes in Autumn 2022. The workshops focused on different families sharing loving relationships.
In the past, the staff have had training from Stonewall with the school becoming a Stonewall Champion school.
“I have always loved the fact that at Balshaw Lane there has been a focus on a broad and rich curriculum. From learning about other cultures, languages, religions and art to the way the children are engaged in all, is a credit to the hard work and dedication of the whole team.”
‘The school has developed my child’s understanding of diversity/equality and multi-culturalism very well.’
Parental questionnaire comments
Via the school newsletter, parents were asked for their views regarding equality in 2021-22 and Autumn 2022. No written responses were received but verbal feedback from meetings with parents, staff and governors has been taken into account. The School Council is involved in our equality work.
Diversity Role Models Lego workshop content
The workshops in Spring and Summer 2023 build on our previous work with this DfE funded project.
The workshops will be based around Lego and focus on families and relationships.
This focus complements our ongoing work in PSHE (Personal Social Health Economic Education).
For example, in Year 5 we already teach about 'different families, same love' using some Stonewall resources.
The Department for Education's statutory Relationships Education document states:
36. In teaching Relationships Education and RSE, schools should ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. Schools must ensure that they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010, (please see The Equality Act 2010 and schools: Departmental advice), under which sexual orientation and gender reassignment are amongst the protected characteristics.
37. Schools should ensure that all of their teaching is sensitive and age appropriate in approach and content. At the point at which schools consider it appropriate to teach their pupils about LGBT, they should ensure that this content is fully integrated into their programmes of study for this area of the curriculum rather than delivered as a stand?alone unit or lesson. Schools are free to determine how they do this, and we expect all pupils to have been taught LGBT content at a timely point as part of this area of the curriculum.
Ofsted's handbook states that schools must:
promotes equality of opportunity so that all pupils can thrive together, understanding that difference is a positive, not a negative, and that individual characteristics make people unique. This includes, but is not limited to, pupils’ understanding of the protected characteristics and how equality and diversity are promoted
ensures an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all pupils, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, and where no discrimination exists, for example in respect of wider opportunities for pupils